The lead researcher overseeing a clinical vaccine trial for the novel coronavirus said scientists won’t know definitively if any of the vaccines work to prevent infection until April or May of next year.
Dr. Mark Mulligan said on CNN’s Erin Burnett OutFront that a one-year time frame is a “blazing process” for vaccine development.
“We’re doing things in months that normally would be done in years,” Mulligan said.
Mulligan is the director of the Vaccine Center at NYU’s Langone Health and is working with Pfizer Inc. and BioNTech SE on the trial.
NYU Grossman School of Medicine and the University of Maryland were the first centers to enroll patients in a vaccine trial for the novel coronavirus. Study participants got the vaccine this week. Pfizer and BioNTech launched a similar trial in Germany.
The first phrase of the trial will determine if it is safe. That typically takes three to four months, Mulligan said.
“That’s actually the most important first question and then we want to know if it’s tolerated well and if it produces an antibody response that might be protective after those first three or four months,” Mulligan said.
“You go onto the question does it protect, and that’ll take several months as well,” he added. “I do really think we’re talking about getting through to the end of the year and into early next year before we would have a definitive answer.”